Exxon Mobil C.E.O. and Chairman Rex W. Tillerson defeated an attempt to displace him from one of his jobs during an annual shareholders meeting.
Shareholders' non-binding vote, in the event it had been successful, would have place great pressure on Tillerson to renounce his chairman title at the world's largest oil company.
But only 39.5 percent of shareholders voted for the measure.
"It just reemphasizes to me the importance of our continuing efforts to communicate better with shareholders and with the public and with policymakers," said Tillerson, according to an Associated Press report.
Despite a record profit of almost $41 billion last year, shareholders have criticized Tillerson for not focusing too much on developing oil sources and not devoting enough resources towards developing alternative energy.
Tillerson, though, defended Exxon's record on both fronts.
"We're focused on safely and reliably meeting the growing energy demand while working to reduce our impact on the environment," Tillerson told the New York Times.
But some high profile shareholders, including descendants of John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Trust, called on Tillerson to do more.
"It's crucial for every company to ask, 'Is it doing all it can to prepare for the future?' The Rockefeller family believes now is precisely the time for Exxon Mobil, with its strong financial performance, to take the long-term steps needed to increase shareholder value," said Peter O'Neill, the great grandson of John D. Rockefeller, according to AP. "All of Exxon Mobil's acknowledged strengths are no guarantee it will remain flexible and visionary in light of the changing energy realities that lie ahead."
The measure to strip Tillerson of the chairman's roles was one of 19 resolutions shareholders put to vote. None of them won approval.